We Were Liars

We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart

3.5 / 5 ⭐


“Can I hold your hand? The universe is seeming really huge right now, I need something to hold on to.”

Photo taken with Focos
Photo by Subakka.bookstuff

We Were Liars is the story of the Sinclair Family. A wealthy family that summers on their own island off the coast of Massachusetts. A family whose patriarch, Harris Sinclair is a demanding dictator to his children and grandchildren. 

Cadence Sinclair Easton loves coming to Beechwood Island. She loves seeing her cousins Johnny and Mirren every summer, but summer eight is when Gat joins them. He is the nephew of the man dating Johnny’s mom. From that summer on, Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are known to the family as the Liars.

Summer fifteen, the Liars are back on the island. Gat and Cadence start to feel an attraction towards each other. But Gat is unsettled; he has been to India and has seen how impoverished the world is compared to Harris Sinclar’s little island world. Cadence begins to fall deeper in love with Gat, but Gat warns her that her granddad doesn’t approve of someone like him.

One night Cadence is found by her mother on the beach, half in the water wearing only a camisole and her underwear. She is taken to the hospital. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, and now has migraines. She also can’t recall what happened the night of the accident. Her mother takes her back to Vermont to rest and heal. Cadence reaches out to Johnny and Mirren, but neither answer. Gat never checks in on her. 

Summer seventeen, two years later, Cadence returns to Beechwood Island. She still doesn’t remember the accident and everyone is told not to talk about it. Being on the island starts to bring back her memories piece by piece. As Cadence slowly begins to tell others what she remembers, she realizes some of them are lying.

I can’t say I was totally engrossed in this book, but I did want to know what happened to Cadence that summer. It kept me reading. The relationship between the four Liars was well written and the ending was surprising, but not shocking.


All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven


Photo taken with Focos
Photo by Subakka.bookstuff

I’m still walking around in a daze since turning the last page on this one. My emotions are just wrecked. I used to shy away from YA books because I felt they were all bubble gum, angsty teenage love stories. But man, some of them dive headfirst into some heavy topics and take your heart with them. 

Theodore Finch, Finch or Freak, as many of his classmates call him, is standing on the high school’s bell tower. He is contemplating whether today is a good day to die. It’s something he does quite regularly. Then he realizes he is not alone on his ledge. Violet Markey is, or was, one of the popular girls. She was a cheerleader, she was dating “Mr. Handsome,” and she was running her own website. But life changed for Violet a year ago, and now she doesn’t know how to live. Today she’s standing on the ledge with the Freak, Finch.

Finch helps Violet down from the ledge that day, although the world sees it differently. Surely Violet must be the one helping messed up Finch. Finch in all his “finchness,” (which will just endear him to you) coerces Violet to do a school project with him. In their wanderings, Finch helps Violet see life differently. As Violet begins to realize she wants to live, and experience life with Finch; Finch is going under. 

This book deals with the very serious issue of suicide. It deals with how kids can be cruel with their bullying, how families can be oblivious to their own children’s pain, and how an individual can disguise their anguish and torment from the world. Finch’s character is written so well. He’s smart, funny, and creative. He’s the one the jocks beat up, the one his dad hits, and yet Finch thinks about how to make Violet feel special, to give her spring in winter. 

Finch is just trying to stay awake, to stay alive. We get to hear his inner dark, drowning thoughts. This project seems to give Finch something to focus on, and Violet gives him something to stay for – but will it be enough?

✨Make sure you read the author’s notes and acknowledgments as she gives very good information on suicide, bullying, and abuse.

The Library of Lost Things



The Library of Lost Things

By Laura Taylor Namey

4 / 5 ⭐

Photo taken with Focos
Photo by Subakka.bookstuff

I adored this story. For those of us who “get lost in books and stories,” Darcy Wells is a very relatable character. The voice of Darcy rings true to that of a lifelong bookworm, but also one of a girl with big secrets. So where does she find her solace and refuge? Books.

Darcy loves books, she brilliantly devours the words, and she even works at a bookstore. Books are where she can run through the story freely, no pretenses, no lies. In the real world, Darcy has to hide, pretend, and lie. For years she has been hiding what is right behind her front door. Darcy’s mother is a hoarder. There are only goat tunnels from one room to another through stacks, piles, and tubs of stuff. Very few people are aware of “The Hoard” except Darcy’s grandma and Darcy’s best friend Marisol.

But the status quo is about to be shaken. There is a new building manager and the lease is coming due. Darcy is turning eighteen soon and her wealthy grandma, who has been supporting her, is threatening to cut off her allowance. Then a copy of Peter Pan with notes and poems scribbled in it mysteriously finds its way into Darcy’s hands. The notes seem to become a guiding force in Darcy’s life. Best of all, into her life walks Asher, a boy who just may be her Prince Charming.

Ultimately, this is a love story. Not just young love, but also Darcy’s struggle of dealing with her mom’s mental health issue, “The Hoard”, and loving her mom through it. Darcy has to come to a self-realization that she too has been hiding behind things, as well as, building her own walls. With the help of her wonderful friend (everyone should have a Marisol) and Asher, Darcy discovers that she needs to write her own story.


Thank you to @Netgalley and @Inkyardpress for this ARC for review.

Publish Date: 10/8/19